Simpleview is the exclusive "ROI Champion" of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The organization collaborates with ICCA on member education and activities focused on technologies and best practices for managing, analyzing and reporting the return on investment (ROI) of ICCA’s tools, activities and data. As Simpleview’s director of digital strategy, I was invited to present at the ICC Mediterranean Chapter’s Annual Meeting from the Cornelia Diamond Hotel in Antalya, Turkey, this past February 17-19.

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and leisure traveller marketers from Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Serbia, Algeria and Italy attended my session, “Don’t Get Caught with Your Stats Down: The Shift to Data-Driven Marketing.” During the session, I spoke to the evolution of data science and how it impacts DMOs, as well as covering new technologies that can help DMOs facing increased pressure from stakeholders to drive results.

 

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t prove it.” - Peter Drucker

 

Over the last decade, tourism marketing has changed significantly and is on the cusp of another big evolution. New technologies and concepts including big data, marketing automation, artificial intelligence, and social customer relationship management (CRM) are quickly becoming a reality. All the while successful DMOs have to increase the desirability of their destination and improve customer service at the convention center level to help ensure delegates have an amazing time.  

With the right tools, any DMO can have success. To prepare for these changes, destination marketers need to start measuring their customer’s journey from awareness to conversion and beyond. With the right data, you can develop real-world solutions that apply marketing science to consumer-centric, results-driven marketing programs. And remember, to remain relevant destination marketers need to:

  • Understand destination roles are increasingly complex
  • Focus on the customer experience
  • Adopt martech (marketing technology)
  • Embrace data science

As I spoke with attendees, it became clear that destinations are struggling with data-driven marketing strategies. Data science is a new topic for the tourism industry. With the growing demand for better ways to measure success, it is becoming necessary for growth.

In closing, to the ICCA Mediterranean Chapter and the host Antalya CVB, thank you for having me. I could not have had a better experience there. As one who travels a lot, this resort took my breath away, from its architecture to its pools and its grounds right along the Mediterranean Sea.

I was a stranger when I arrived, not knowing a soul. I learned from many; we all explored Old town Antalya (a charming city built right into the rock cliffs just as I imagined a city would be by the Mediterranean Sea), the ancient City of Perge (a city dating back to approximately 1000 B.C. that really gave me a sense of history), and I tasted many a decadent meal and sipped Turkish wine with my fellow travel and tourism marketers. To these new friends, I toast to you and data-driven marketing!